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Black Police Association Gives Thumbs Down To California Pot Legalization Initiative

Last month we told you how, in somewhat of a coup, backers of the California initiative that would legalize pot possession scored the endorsement of the National Black Police Association. It was a coup because law enforcement has been well allied against Prop. 19, which would let Californians 21 and older hold one ounce of pot.

It turns out that the NBPA is not the only national African-American cop group around, and that its feelings on the matter aren't universal among black officers. Turns out the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement (NOBLE) last week released a thumbs down on Prop. 19.

When the NBPA endorsed the measure it noted that drug laws are disproportionately enforced when it comes to African-Americans, and the group's nod came only weeks after a study revealed that blacks in L.A. County were four times as likely as whites to be arrested on suspicion of possessing the drug.

NOBLE acknowledges the the problem but argues decriminalizing pot is not the answer:

"NOBLE has and continues to be concerned about disparities in sentencing and treatment in the criminal justice system, however, this legislation will not eradicate that issue," states the group's president, Patrick R. Melvin, " ... Legalization of drugs to include marijuana is not the path to enlightenment, I feel it just opens the door to more social ills that will inevitably affect our communities, and in turn require additional resources to counteract those new and expanded problems."